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Holbrooke Nomination Clears Hurdle

August 4, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke’s longest mission, winning Senate confirmation to be U.N. ambassador, appeared near a successful end today as a final objection was lifted.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, announced in a Senate speech that he was releasing a ``hold″ that had prevented a Senate vote on Holbrooke.

Instead, Grassley said he was transferring the delaying tactics to three other ambassadorial appointments in an unrelated dispute with the State Department.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who earlier had been among four senators holding up a final vote, suggested a final vote could come as early as today.

Although Holbrooke has always appeared to have overwhelming support in the Senate, it has been 14 months since President Clinton announced his selection for the top diplomatic post.

A series of delays has plagued the nomination, most recently a wave of parliamentary maneuvers by individual senators to delay a final vote, mostly over unrelated disputes.

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